Racial Innocence has gone into its third printing! After the first printing on December 1, 2011, the book returned for its second run in February 2012. Now, in January 2013, NYU Press has sent the book back for a third print run. I've been told that Racial Innocence is the top seller among all books in the American Literatures Initiative, an alliance of five publishers that have come together, with support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, to publish and publicize first books in the humanities.
The great sales figures are due, first and foremost, to the skill and energy of the terrific folks at NYU Press and the ALI. They're also due to all the professors who've assigned my book in classes--large and small, undergraduate and graduate, in colleges and universities. In the past year, Racial Innocence has been assigned in classes at Boston College, the George Washington University, Harvard, Kansas State University, Middlebury College, New York University, Northwestern, Princeton, Rutgers University-Camden, Stanford, Tufts, the University of California at Berkeley, the University of California at Riverside, the University of Florida, the University of Pittsburgh, the University of South Carolina, the University of Texas at Austin, Washington University in St. Louis, Williams College, and Yale (if you know of another place where Racial Innocence is being taught, please let me know!).
The range of these courses has been amazing: from African American Studies (“Black Visual Cultures” and “The Archive, Minstrelsy and American Literature”) to theatre and performance studies (“Critical Approaches to Theatre and Performance”) to the history and literature of childhood (“Age in American Literature and Culture” and “Bad Boys & Wayward Girls: The Social Control of Problem Youth”). I'm especially proud that the book has been assigned in graduate-level, foundational methods courses in African American Studies and in theatre/performance studies and in American Studies.
I'm also grateful that the book has been reviewed widely. So far, reviews have appeared in American Quarterly, Children’s Literature, Choice, Cultural Studies, Girlhood Studies, International Research in Children’s Literature, the Journal of American Culture, the Journal of Popular Culture, The Lion and the Unicorn, and Modern Drama. Reviews are slated to appear in Callaloo, Children’s Literature Association Quarterly, e-misférica, H-SHGAPE (Society for Historians of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era), the Journal of Dramatic Theory and Criticism, the Journal of the History of Childhood and Youth, Legacy, MELUS, Partial Answers, Theatre History Studies, Theatre Journal, and Theatre Survey (again, if you know of more, please let me know).
Many thanks to the bloggers who've spread the word about my book, especially Philip Nel, Perry Nodelman, and Michelle McCrary (who not only blogged about the book but also interviewed me on her radio show, and then listed our interview among her favorites of 2012). And of course, thanks to the members of the book award committees at the American Studies Association, the Association for Theatre in Higher Education, the New England American Studies Association, and the Society for the Study of American Women Writers, all of which honored my book.
When I was writing Racial Innocence, I wanted one thing above all: I wanted people to read it. I'm so grateful to the individuals--too numerous to list here!--who have spread the word about this book and thus enabled it to find its way into the hands of readers. To all the scholars who've reviewed the book, professors who've assigned it, bloggers who've written about it, award committees that have honored it, NYU Press and ALI folks who've promoted it, and most of all, readers who've read it--thank you for making 2012 such a successful year for Racial Innocence.